The ghost of myself is haunting my life

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The Poems of Baz McCarthy

These are a selection of some of Baz McCarthy’s poems. Most poems were written in and around Bristol.  He doesn’t like writing at home, he says he needs the flurry of people rushing or sitting around, doing or saying pointless things to fill in their lives…

He’s always been a massive people-watcher and eavesdropper, so if you see some bloke furiously scribbling into his Moleskine on the table next to you…

Completely irreverent and lacking any formal training or respect for anyone who has, he writes from the gut and the heart and performs his poetry in the same powerful, yet carefree manner!

This year, 2023, he’s performed aplenty, around Bristol, in places such as El Rincon, The Bristol Fringe, Coffee#1, Eldon House, Fat Goat @ Jafra and Grain Barge and the poems get honed by audience reactions (shout-out to the many lovely, enthusiastic, patient and welcoming people who suffer at my poetic hands!).

Also, some these poems may well have changed by now and even grown into bigger and better poems, although I’m not saying bigger is always better!

The last mountain

With no emotion
because I see it every day
“You probably have 6 months to live”

Well, it’s different for me
I don’t see this everyday

I’m tough as old boots
I’m sure I’ll be fine
I will fight to the end

I’m going to climb a mountain
Maybe for the last time
Or maybe I won’t last

I’ve lost a lot of weight
But I’m going to get it back
When my chemo is over, I will bulk up
I will go to the gym
I will do all the things
That I am supposed to do
to bulk up
to get bigger

Big enough
to climb the mountain
I’m already
Climbing a mountain
which is about as big as it can be

The biggest mountain I’ve ever climbed
Maybe this
is my last mountain

Maybe I won’t reach the top
But I’m going to fucking try
because I’m tough as old boots
And I don’t give up
And I’m not going away

I will climb

My last mountain


There’s Kevin
Up in his window
Small window
Pink shirt
Little light
From the ceiling
U shaped tap
Assume a sink
ing feeling

A blind
At the top
Doesn’t drop
Very far
To a halfway bar
Like the light
That doesn’t light
Very much
In the small room
Of Kevin’s

The walls are dull white
They’re dark white
Dark white
On dull white
Dark on dull
White on white
Like on like

Another window lights up
And goes out
Morse code
In slow-mo

No sign of Kevin
In his assumed kitchen
The same depressed tap
Curving into
That sinking feeling

If you look carefully
You can see shadows
Some feint
Some dark
But all of them meaning
Something slim
Something dim
As a shadow does
But it’s the night
And the light
That effects


Smartphone men

Wobbling smart men
On smartphones
Where’s the hen?
Beautiful clothing
Cost loads
“its Johnnies birthday”
He lied
And went back inside
His phone
A rectangular moan

He comes out
Sits in the back
Amanda never liked that

Its gone
Which is a shame
They did good trade
They shot themselves in the foot
The way
The redhaired girl talked to us
“Tina!”… Read the rest

Dreams from the 80’s

Ford Escort RSTurbo
Dreams from the 80’s
When men were wankers
And so were their cars
Girls with big bras
Big pickles in jars
A stream of motoring facts
So dull
My stomach reacts
Every other word
Is fucking
As if it proves you’re something
But you’re nothing

Sitting in my Nike’s
In my nightie

Faux friendliness
Close to
Extreme violence
Letting go
Of a I love you
And hello
To fuck you
You cunt
I’m more proud of you
Than anything in my life
And I don’t even know you
You cunt
You make me proud
You cunt

Wot?… Read the rest

Standard man

A designer shirt
With designer buttons
Containing a revolting man
In a revolting shirt
Gut early
Tucked in
To his jeans
Stuffed full
Of his fat legs
Designer stubble
Cufflinked sleaves

Short hair
Hiding imperfections
Peanuts eaten
With rapid aggression

Mobile on speaker phone
So we can all hear
You have absolutely
To say

Standard man
With low standards
Everyone he knows
Is on the level
The same level

No winding road
No wandering soul
Just a straight line
From birth
To death
But with his mates
Around him
Guiding him
The same

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